Don’t Settle For Worldly Religion

Every once in a while, the outside world takes an interest in our faith and something we do goes mainstream. This may seem like a great thing—like the world is becoming more like us—but this is almost never the case. When the world adopts something we do, it makes that thing more worldly and sometimes takes us with it.

Living a #Blessed Life

The word “blessed” immediately comes to mind as an example. How often we hear this word in everyday conversation. How ubiquitous it is on social media. And yet, how distorted it has become from its original meaning in Scripture.

Don’t Mess with Exodus

The Exodus story is among the most recognizable and important stories in the entire Bible. Many major films have been made about it, and there are always some issues. This is to be expected with any source material. Exodus: Gods and Kings takes this to the next level. Let me put it as nicely as I can: it’s a garbage movie that we reviewed so you don’t have to.

Why Don’t We Eat Meat On Friday?

Yesterday, I decided to take a break from always explaining things and giving technical answers. Sometimes you just need to laugh, and this TikTok has done that for a lot of people!

@caseyofm

The real reason Catholics don’t eat meat on Fridays.

♬ original sound – caseyofm

For the real answer, you can watch this video from four years ago.

Religion and the World at War

This title might be trying to shape this week’s podcast to fit the theme of this post, but I see a connection. In the movie Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Tina Fey plays a reporter covering the war in Afghanistan, a place where secular culture is such an enemy to religion that religion dictates the culture. This isn’t exactly the point of the movie (you see how I’m trying to fit a square peg in a round hole), but it does do a great job of challenging our preconceived notions about people in that country with that perspective.

Look what I found!

If you’re looking for a way to grow in true faith to be blessed in the Lord and not by the world, I have found the perfect book for you. Literally. Nestled in between dozens of other great books from Ave Maria Press are the very first copies of The Way of Beatitude: Living Radical Hope in a World of Division and Despair. Hot off the press and releasing in three weeks, you can find them at the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim this weekend, preorder them on Amazon, or enter to win one for free. Another 250 winners were selected yesterday, so if you entered, be sure to check your SPAM folders.

Until next week, peace and good to everyone!

Fr. Casey

Time to Celebrate?!

I know it’s Lent, but man, there were a lot of things to celebrate this week.

Baseball is Back!

Let’s start right off with baseball. MLB and the MLBPA accepted terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, ending the 99 day lockout and saving our trip this summer. It’s with that joy that I can share the list of events we’ll be hosting this summer. There are still more to come, but this is what we have at the moment.

Time of Confession

For many, Lent is anything but a time of celebration, but it really is if you think about it. How wonderful it is that God allows us to do penance, that he forgives us of our sins! The sacrament of penance isn’t supposed to be endured, it’s celebrated! This week, Fr. Patrick and I discuss the good, the bad, and the ridiculous images of confession in media.

Finding Hope in Affliction, New Book

What do we do with poverty? Hunger? Persecution? Violence? For many, these are things to be avoided because they mark a tragic, downtrodden life. And yet, Jesus is very clear that those who experience these things will have future glory. What do we make of the Beatitudes, and how can they help us right now? That’s the topic of my new book, releasing April 6. You can enter to win a free copy by clicking here.

Superheroes Among Us

What if Superman grew up just an ordinary guy and slowly learned throughout his life that he was “super”? In a way, that’s what Unbreakable is about, and it might very well be the best comic book movie ever made.

Off to LA!

Hope everyone has a great week! If you’re attending Los Angeles Religious Education Congress next week, look for me among the masses!

Peace and good,

Fr. Casey

Exciting News!

This week, I am full of excitement. Fr. Patrick is back to film episodes of Upon Friar Review, I went down a fascinating rabbit hole, and I finally get to announce some big news I’ve been planning.

Let’s Start With the News

A few months ago I started mentioning that I had written another book, but I didn’t push it too much. I wanted people to know about it, but you can’t keep people excited for 6 months. On Wednesday, we’ll be just one month away from its release. Now is the time! This week I’m going to post a YouTube video with all the details, but because you are subscribers to the Newsletter, you get to know before anyone else that I will be giving away 1000 free copies.

The name of the book is The Way of Beatitude: Living Radical Hope in a World of Division and Despair, and you can enter to win right now by clicking here.

Fr. Pat Back in the House

After three weeks away, Fr. Patrick is back on the set of Upon Friar Review and we’re excited for a good semester. We’ve already filmed four episodes and plan to film two more this week, so we’re coming at you! In this episode, we look at the way late night host Stephen Colbert uses in Catholicism in media. He is honest, vulnerable, and very brave in the way he shares his faith. (There have been a few comments judging and condemning him because of certain political beliefs people assume he holds, and this won’t be tolerated in the comments.)

The Rabbit Hole You Didn’t Know You Needed

Happy Lent everyone! After celebrating the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, we transitioned to the Lenten season with Ash Wednesday this week, and won’t be back to Ordinary Time until June, when we’ll celebrate the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time… Wait, what happened to the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Sundays? I had the same question last week, and so I went down a rabbit hole. If you think the liturgical calendar is simple and straightforward, you are going to be surprised by this video!

Since Russia is in the News…

The news out of Ukraine has been absolutely horrifying lately. Putin’s aggression is inhumane and devastating to everyone involved. We must pray for peace in the region and that justice will prevent further actions from dictators. With this in mind, Fr. Tito and I were reminded of a relevant movie from our childhood that deserved a rewatch: An American Tail. Watch the story of a Jewish mouse family flee violence from Russian cats, hoping to find peace in America. For a children’s movie, it has some heavy themes.

An Update on our Tour

The commissioner of baseball has continued the lockout of baseball players and postponed the start of the season. This is obviously not great news for the sport, but it has a personal component as well: the trip Fr. Tito and I are planning hangs in the balance. At this point, we have about 4-6 weeks for them to figure things out before we are affected, but it is still unnerving. In the event that MLB has not fixed its problems by the time we are supposed to leave, we’ve decided that we are going to go anyway, replacing MLB games with Minor League ones. Hopefully it won’t come to that, but the show must go on.

On that note, we still have a few openings for speaking events: New York 6/16, Dallas 7/12, Los Angeles 7/20, Oakland/San Francisco 7/26. If you would like to invite us to speak at your church, please fill out this form.

Wisdom Worth Repeating

I didn’t make a video specifically about Lent or Ash Wednesday this year, but I think last year’s video is something that everyone should watch. Please, don’t give up something (just) for Lent. Do something that your soul actually needs, and give it up for life.

For now, happy Lent everyone!

Peace and good,

Fr. Casey

It’s About Encounter

So often, we simply don’t understand each other. People struggle to see eye to eye, to grasp the experience of someone different from ourselves. In each of the messages I share this week there’s a reminder to leave ourselves behind so that we can walk in another’s shoes, hearing what they actually have to say.

Why is Francis so Confusing? It’s not (all) his fault

Pope Francis gets blamed for a lot. How much of it is valid? In this week’s video, I offer four reasons why people don’t understand what he has to say.

“Only Facts” isn’t the Whole Truth

In our world today, many are concerned with getting “just the facts.” And that’s understandable. But there is more to truth than what is provable and there is more to storytelling than information. Big Fish reminds us that storytelling is an art that communicates as much about the storyteller as it does the story.

Macon Sleepout

This Thursday, 140 members of the Macon community participated in the annual “Daybreak Sleepout,” an event meant to raise awareness of the struggles of being homeless and to raise money for the day center.

Upon Friar Review Almost Back!

Father Patrick is back in town and we’re ready to roll! Yesterday, we filmed two episodes and will film another two this week, getting ahead of any unforeseen issues around the corner! Be sure to check in Friday for a great episode!

Big Announcement Next Week!

There’s a reason why you sign up for this newsletter and it’s not just for all my content in one place. You get news before everyone else. On Wednesday, March 9, I’ll be releasing a video with a special announcement, but the details will be open to you on Saturday, four days earlier!

Until then, peace and good,

Fr. Casey

Finding God in the Mess, Beauty of Life

God is the author and animator of all that exists. He does not simply intervene at extraordinary times; His presence radiates through everything for all to see. Do we see him in tragedy? In our struggle for justice? When the world is a mess? In the beauty of a game?

Why aren’t there miracles anymore?

The God of the Bible performed tons of miracles. It’s how people came to know Him. So where are they now?

Viva la Revolution?

V for Vendetta is one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s exciting, well-written, thoughtful, and even a bit inspiring. It also has a character that is hard to like at times. Fr. Tito and I discuss the limits of violence but need for revolution.

New Book, April Release!

The Way of Beatitude: Living Radical Hope in a World of Division and Despair

The world gives us two options in conflict: double down in our anger, furthering division, or hide away in our defeat, isolating ourselves in despair. But what if we looked at the things we see wrong in the world with empathy, dug below the surface of people’s disappointing actions to experience their pain, and understood hurtful words as a cry for consolation? What if we responded with sorrow instead of outrage, and love instead of hate? The Beatitudes offer us a third way.

This book will be released April 8. You can preorder now… but I will be announcing a major free book giveaway in three weeks!

https://www.avemariapress.com/products/the-way-of-beatitude

Is it time for baseball yet?

The Major League season might be a bit delayed, but high school is in full swing. Is there anything more picturesque than a baseball field at night?

That’s all for now! Upon Friar Review is set to return March 4. Thank you for your patience, and continue to keep Fr. Patrick and his family in your prayers.

Peace and good,

Fr. Casey